It’s January 16th as I write this. 8:54 a.m. on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. (a little slow getting this posted)
I’ve already been outside getting fresh water to the critters and feeding them. The current cold snap is coming to an end today. Major rains are arriving tomorrow and already they are talking about potential flooding problems in the lowlands.
And life goes on!
Baby chicks go on sale February 3rd where Bev works at the Urban Farm & Garden Center, and we’re buying forty of them….then we’ll raise them for a couple months and sell them, hopefully, for a decent profit. Forty of them…in our garage…preparations must be made.
But you don’t really care about that, especially if you’ve never raised chickens.
But maybe you’re interested in raising them for the first time…what do you need to know in order for you to have fresh eggs for breakfast?
HOW LONG TO LAY
A chicken, on average, will start laying eggs at about six months. I said on average. We have one who took eight months. We have an over-achiever who started plopping them out at five months…but plan on six.
That means the chicks we get on February 3rd will start laying maybe in August. We’ll probably sell them around June but still, if we wanted eggs, we’d be waiting until August.
WHAT WILL THEY NEED?
Well, they’ll need a brooder for a couple months. For us that means an enclosed area inside with a heat lamp where the chicks can grow up safe and warm. Come about March we’ll put them outside in an enclosed place that has a well-ventilated and protected coop of some sort. There they will be able to search for bugs and enjoy a larger living space.
WHAT DO WE FEED THEM?
Well, we feed them organic pellets when they are older and when they are young we feed them organic pellets ground down into almost a powder. Chickens also love worms, which I’m raising, and grubs, and once they get outside they love to search for their own delicacies. When they get old enough we’ll turn them loose in the yard so they have more food choices and, no worries, at night they will return to their protected home. Chickens are a lot smarter than you would think, or maybe they are just instinctual and I’m giving them way too much credit. LOL
AND THAT’S REALLY ALL THERE IS TO IT
I’ve written articles before about how to build a coop, so no need to go into that now. This is just a primer for those curious…and no, you do not need a rooster to get eggs. Females lay eggs just like female women do, daily, with or without the aid of a male. J
Speaking of chickens, our mealworms are coming this Friday. One-thousand of them. I need to make their enclosure as well so we can start raising them. Great food for chickens, by the way.
The quail eggs are arriving next week as well. I need to get the incubators ready for them….17 days to hatch…seven weeks after that they start laying eggs.
Busy times here!
It’s a busy time around here so that’s all I’ve got for you today. If you have any specific questions about raising chickens, or quail, ask me in the comment section.
Have a great winter day!